Feeling disconnected

I don’t get emails from my friends anymore. We went from one new technology to another one so quickly. Now everyone seems to be on Facebook or some other social meeting spot. Including me, of course. But now I’m starting to feel the communication shifting in a negative direction. Sound bytes are thrown around and things are “liked”…but where is the connection exactly? I giggle at some of the posts I read, I get a great new song recommendation, I see a video that makes me laugh out loud, I get a glimpse into people’s lives through photos. Yet I still don’t feel like I’m really connecting anymore.

And it’s not like I’m really longing for email, either. I’d actually prefer more of the in-person stuff, ya know. It’s not possible with all relationships, certainly, but if I live just miles from someone, why not? I’d much prefer having a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with a friend than sharing a few sentences online that just don’t feel as meaningful.

I got a little bit of that in the month of December, and it was nice. I guess if I’m going to look forward to 2011 and make a resolution, which I tend to steer clear of, I’d resolve to try to make more time for the people in my life. People managed to make connections before the computer, even before telephones. So I know it’s possible. And for the friends who aren’t nearby — or even those I’ve actually met online — I’ll simply try to reach out more to them. I may even send them an email…gasp!

Meet my second child

We don’t have many kids in our neighborhood. Parents have kids and move out before they hit school age so they can avoid sending them to our public schools (which have a pretty low graduation rate). We have two under two nearby and a nine-year-old and his three younger sibs down the block and around the corner.

Donovan, though, is right across the street.

He lives with his mom during the school year and comes back to Michigan during the summers. We met him two years ago and he and Devin hit it off. Even with a nearly four-year age difference. Last year they played a few times. This year, though, they’re nearly inseparable.

I love that Dev has a good buddy. And that he now crosses the street and knocks on the door and asks, “Can Donovan come out and play?” And I love that Donovan is actually a sweet, well-mannered kid who can act as a role model. (Although he was teaching Devin how to sing “I Want to Rock ‘n Roll All Night” as we took the dog for a walk tonight.) One never knows what types of kids their children will end up hanging out with. There are a lot of brats out there. So having him hanging around my house so much is not at all annoying.

At least not yet!

The other thing that’s fun about him is that he was terrified of my dog, but now he’s fascinated with her. He asked me tonight, “Can we take Juliette for a walk?” The first few days he wouldn’t come into the house unless she was put into the backyard while he and Dev scampered to the basement where they could close the gate. Now he’s sitting on the floor in front of her and asking for doggie kisses.

The way summer weekends should be

Don’t mind the dirty feet. We were having fun!

This weekend was the fourth summer get-together we’ve had with the families of the two babies who came over on the plane with Devin. Although they’re certainly not babies anymore. Four! They’re four. How did that go so fast?

There was much fun splashing, tubing and chowing down on grilled pizza. (Unless you were Devin and all you decided to eat was chips and candy.) Closed out by a gorgeous sunset that the kiddos were oblivious to as they chased each other ’round and ’round the living room.

We were also invited to an impromptu birthday party by the family across the street. The 8-year-old star of the birthday festivities took a liking to Dev and made him feel comfortable amongst all of the older kids. They found “buried treasure,” played balloon volleyball and chased each other around. After the party, there were also monster-truck races on the sidewalk. It was Devin Heaven!